Irked by the frequent power-cuts that have left their crops starving, farmers in the district staged dharnas, rasta rokos in the Prakasam and Guntur districts.
At several places, they also attacked some power substations and resorted to stone pelting.
The increasing load shedding due to poor power production in the state has left the farmers in dire strait, especially those in the upland areas as they are completely dependant on bore wells for irrigation water.
According to official sources, there are 64,000 agricultural borewell connections in Guntur district while the same is 1 lakh in Prakasam district.
Nearly 70 percent of them belonged to upland areas wherein the unscheduled power cuts is taking a toll on the kharif crops.
Official record says, farmers in the upland areas (Palnadu) in Guntur district have taken up chilli cultivation in 50,000 hectares while 1.
26 lakh hectares is under cotton crop this kharif season.
Similarly, farmers who took up different crops in 65 ,000 he c t a r e s i n Prakasam district are completely dependant on borewells for irrigation.
With the districts receiving low rainfall this monsoon and increasing unscheduled power cuts, cotton plants in a majority of areas are in near-to-wilting stage.
“We are unable to irrigate our crops as we get power supply for only two to three hours per day,” said G Koti Reddy, a farmer of Karampudi village.
Another farmer, S Hanumanth Rao of Yerragondapalem in Prakasam district, who took up banana cultivation in 2.
5 acres, said that he would incur a loss of `2.
5 lakh due to power cuts due to lack of irrigation water.
Guntur joint director of agriculture V Sridhar said, “ Paddy, chilli, cotton, turmeric, banana in the district are drying up.
Farmers in Palanadu are facing severe irrigation water crisis.
”Guntur circle SPDCL engineeer K Jayabharata Rao said the power discom was supplying only 8 MU of power a day